© 2021 WKSU
Public Radio News for Northeast Ohio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
There's always so much going on in Northeast Ohio sports, much more than what can fit in our regular Wednesday conversations with Cleveland Plain Dealer sports writer Terry Pluto. Consider it overtime or extra innings.  This is the place to check out Amanda Rabinowitz's ongoing conversations with Terry that are just too good to miss!

The View Beyond Pluto: Pro Football is Fun Again in Cleveland

Browns helmet draft.jpg
Gabe Wasylko
Top picks Baker Mayfield (left) and Denzel Ward are providing a spark for the Browns

The Cleveland Browns bounced back from their week 4 loss against the Oakland Raiders with a big win against the Baltimore Ravens. With a record of 2-2-1, every game has been a close call, and WKSU commentator Terry Pluto says that's exactly what's making it fun for Browns fans.

The Browns, coming off an 0-16 season, haven't lost in their division. They tied with the Steelers in week 1 and beat the Ravens, 12-9, this past week. And, every other game this season has been close, so the team could be 5-0 if those games went their way. 

The rookies:

"It's moved from 'We almost always almost win' — from Josh Cribbs — to 'We might win.'”

Pluto says rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield is creating a spark for fans. The No. 1 pick led the team to its first win since 2015, beating the New York Jets. He was then named the starter over Tyrod Taylor. 

“You have a quarterback who probably won’t mess up at the end of the game," Pluto says. "Sometimes (Mayfield) couldn’t make the plays he wanted, but he wasn’t just giving it to the other team.” 

Pluto is referencing last season, when then-rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer threw 22 interceptions. 

Pluto says Mayfield's mindset of wanting to win every game is rubbing off on the rest of the team, bringing hope back to Browns fans. 

Another rookie, Nordonia High School and Ohio State grad, Denzel Ward,  has made some key plays for the team. 

"A surprise first-round pick by the Browns — nobody had him going No. 4 — picked off his first pass of the year, did a good job covering some top receivers, and then blocked a field goal."

Looking forward

Pluto says the close-call games are making fans feel proud of their team again, sporting Browns gear more than ever.

"It's moved from 'We almost always almost win' — from Josh Cribbs — to 'We might win.'”

Despite lingering concern over whether or not they will continue to win, Pluto says one thing is certain: "Football is now fun again."

The Browns host the 3-2 San Diego Chargers on Sunday.